System leadership is not just desirable; it’s necessary to deliver impact

By Hal Hamilton The Sustainable Food Lab has two objectives: 1) deliver impacts in the ways that supply chains affect people and nature, and 2) increase the capabilities of “system leaders” who make those impacts happen. Desirable impacts on farming systems—ecological and social—require shifts in the enabling conditions for farmer and business decisions, and those…

How to achieve GHG goals and millions of acres in regenerative agriculture? Report from the field and next steps: a “Scale Lab”

Hal Hamilton and Elizabeth Reaves In late 2020, one of our colleagues, who is responsible for the greenhouse gas commitments of a large food company, asked us to help quantify costs and GHG impacts of work with farmers in their supply chain. The company was having some difficulty justifying projects in crop agriculture because of…

Can we really fix a screwed-up world? Rebecca Henderson thinks we can

By: Hal Hamilton   The most important book I’ve read in years is Rebecca Henderson’s Reimaging Capitalism in a World on Fire. It’s the right book for this moment during which we each tumble with both fear and hope. She occasionally lets her deep caring show, but her style is pragmatic, almost matter of fact as…

Keeping Change Moving When Everything Stops

Many of us are finding silver linings in the global shutdown, even as we fret about the fate of our more vulnerable partners in farming communities bound to suffer dearly from the economic fall-out of the pandemic. While comparatively small, the opportunity to engage for longer, more reflective conversations is one such silver lining.  The…

TaskForce for Coffee Living Income: Bridging the Gap from Procurement Practices to Living Income in Coffee Growers

By Stephanie Daniels The concept of living income of farmers allows us to consider if the combined effect of various farming practices, voluntary sustainability standards, productivity investments and premiums prices all add up to the conditions under which farmers can afford a decent standard of living. It can facilitate the dialogue regarding the smart mix…

A View of the Future While Standing in the Mud

By Elizabeth Reaves Just a few weeks ago the Food Lab and some of our corporate partners were standing around in the muddied farmyard of a large Washington State dairy, with a chilly Pacific Northwest mist clinging to the hillsides and sitting low over the cows lined up for milking. For the Food Lab team,…

Food Lab Supports Mars Petcare to Achieve Climate-Smart Wheat Supply Chain

Mars Petcare, with project support from the Food Lab, has become the first company to deliver a case study measuring carbon using the new Gold Standard protocols (standards designed to meet the global GHG reduction goals set forth in the Paris Agreement). Most farmers do not manage for GHGs, but they care about their soils…